New Delhi: Navjot Singh Sidhu will stay Punjab Congress chief and lead Congress in next year’s election, his aide said today, indicating that the cricketer-turned-politician may backtrack on his resignation.
“The issue will be resolved soon. Navjot Sidhu will continue to be Punjab Congress chief,” Mohammad Mustafa, adviser to Navjot Sidhu, told sources.
“The Congress leadership understands Navjot Sidhu and Sidhu is not beyond the Congress leadership. He is not Amarinder Singh, who never cared for the Congress and its leadership,” Mr Mustafa said.
According to him, Mr Sidhu “acts emotionally at times” and the Congress leadership understands.
Mr Sidhu, who was named Punjab Congress chief in July, quit on Tuesday saying he could “never compromise on Punjab’s future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab.”
He was upset about key appointments made by new Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, the man who replaced Mr Sidhu’s rival Amarinder Singh less than two weeks ago.
Mr Sidhu’s resignation was a surprise for the Gandhis; Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had supported him against Amarinder Singh, taking a huge political risk close to the polls.
Mr Sidhu has reportedly not spoken to the party leadership since he quit, and has rebuffed Punjab leaders sent to placate him.
Yesterday, he posted a video defending his move. “My fight is issue-based and I have stood by it for a long time. I cannot compromise with my ethics, my moral authority. What I witness is a compromise with issues, agenda in Punjab. I cannot misguide the high command nor can I let them be misguided,” Mr Sidhu said in Punjabi.
Chief Minister Channi yesterday spoke to Mr Sidhu on the phone and indicated that he could reconsider some of the appointments.
“I told Sidhu that the party believes in consultations, please come and we can fix this. If anyone has any objections to any appointment, then I am not rigid on that. There is no ego tussle,” Mr Channi told reporters